The Illinois Army National Guard holds annual conference


Ellie Rann

Junior student council member Ali Hankins participates in marble bowling at the Student Council Leadership Conference in Benton Nov. 3.

Bailee Clifton, Staff Writer

The Illinois Army National Guard held a leadership competition for student council members on Thursday. Student council members from all over Southern Illinois participated in the event. 

“To be honest, I was expecting to be quite bored,” senior Bella Hankins said. “Usually, at those types of leadership events, you sit and listen to a guest speaker for hours and try to stay awake. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had many fun activities set up for us to do.”

The schools separated into their own school groups and competed in many different activities. They had to work together well enough to complete each task. 

“I think the part that stood out to me the most was how well our team worked together,” senior Sophie Brombaugh said. “Usually we bicker and are overly competitive against each other, but yesterday we got along very well and it was so much fun.”

Each group had 10 minutes to complete a “minute to win it” type game before moving on to the next station. 

“For me, my favorite part of yesterday was the Skittle station,” Hankins said. “It was a game where you used a straw to suck and hold a Skittle and run it to the table a few yards away. I was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.” 

According to sophomore English teacher Hilary Ford, HHS student council has been to the conference before but this was the first time it was turned into a competition. 

  “In every single one of the obstacles, we had to work as a group. If we didn’t, then we wouldn’t do as good,” junior Mary Beth Winkleman said. 

The top two teams moved on to compete against one another at the end. 

“My favorite part was when we got to watch the two best teams compete at the very end,” Winkleman said.

While Harrisburg did not advance, they did really well on some sections, like the golf game, with the help of HHS golf players, junior Frankie Leigh Nichols and senior Grant Wilson. 

“I think the station that was called Gutterball was the best event that really made us work together,” Brombaugh said. “The boy running the station told us that we did the best job out of all the other groups, and it was because we worked as a team. We still dropped all the balls and got no points, but it was still fun.”

The two teams who competed against each other were Carterville and Anna-Jonesboro. 

“There were at least two or three areas that Harrisburg scored the highest in, and it was great to see our students get so excited and encourage each other,” Ford said. 

Anna-Jonesboro beat Carterville and won the leadership award.

“The students always get real life experience,” Ford said. “They are given tasks that they must complete and must work as a team and have someone show leadership skills. Each task is different and different students  excelled in different areas, so it helps give several students the chance to “lead” their group.”